I’ve done it! I’ve finally gotten through to the creative team behind Ultimate Spider-Man. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the last few introductions to my Ultimate Spider-Man reviews were about Star Trek: The Next Generation. Well, in this issue, our hero is sporting a Wesley Crushers t-shirt. That’s totally got to be my doing, right? I’m influential! Or it could just be a reference to Sheldon’s bowling team in the Big Bang Theory.
Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #15
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Jorge Molina
Plot: Miles is trying to study in his room at the Brooklyn Visions Academy, but Ganke is distracting him with ideas on how to make Miles the most popular super hero in the world. Ganke suggests to Miles that shouting out random catchphrases such as “Yahtzee,” “Sacagawea,” and “Charles Barkley,” would make him a viral hit. Miles counters with a rallying cry to “study!”
Ganke refuses to return to his books until Miles lets him see the new web-shooters. Ganke covers the ceiling in webbing as he plays with the device. Miles asks his roommate to use Peter’s secret web formula to make more of the webbing. The dormitory monitor arrives and demands that the two boys unlock their door. Miles gathers the webbing inside his robe and tells the monitor he was changing and needed privacy.
Miles goes home to visit his family and is greeted by police officers outside the house. Homicide Detective Maria Hill is investigating the Prowler’s death and she is eager to talk to Miles about the close relationship he had with his Uncle Aaron. Miles’ father is upset that the police are involving his young son, but Miles is relieved to hear that the police no longer suspect Spider-Man to be behind Aaron’s death. Detective Hill leaves after Miles is unable to provide her with any clues as to the Prowler’s motives.
Back at school, Miles shares the news of Spider-Man’s innocence with Ganke. Their celebration is put on hold when an assembly is called in the school’s auditorium. In light of the events occurring around the country, the city has declared that the school be closed down for the safety of the students. Miles sees this as a good sign since he now has more free time to be Spider-Man. Ganke tells Miles that he should join the Ultimates.
Taking Ganke’s advice, Miles pays a visit to the Ultimates’ headquarters in his Spider-Man guise. The soldiers turn their guns on the intruder, forcing Spider-Man to turn and flee after he webs the soldiers to the wall. Spider-Man slips in a puddle of rain water and lands at the feet of Captain America. Spider-Man tells Cap that he’s reporting for duty.
Ultimate Breakdown: I feel bad for always pointing out ways Ganke annoys me, but that’s just the way the character is. His excitement at the prospect of being a superhero’s best friend seems appropriate for a young teen; it’s the next best thing to being a superhero yourself. But Ganke needs to try harder to keep his excitement in check before the whole Brooklyn Visions Academy finds out Miles’ secret. I wasn’t a fan of Ganke’s phrasing when he told Miles that Captain America would “respect the blank out of” him, but it’s better than Bendis’ normal reliance on the censored words.
It looks like Ganke is about to play a bigger role in Miles’ super-heroics. I’m glad they addressed the possibility that Miles might run out of the web-fluid, though I question Ganke’s ability to recreate Peter’s webbing. I’m sure he will for the purpose of the story, but I don’t agree with Miles’ comparison of building legos to knowing chemistry.
I was surprised to see Maria Hill show up as a homicide detective. I guess that might have been explored in one of the other Ultimate titles, but I wasn’t aware of her career change. That’s not a problem though, and I enjoyed the scene showing the interrogation concerning Uncle Aaron’s death. I’m glad Jefferson, Miles’ father, stuck up for his son and expanded on the theme that Miles is too young for these situations.
Miles had better be careful when talking with the police though. He got a little too excited when he heard Spider-Man was no longer suspected in the Prowler’s death. That’s good news for Miles who is taking Uncle Aaron’s last words really hard. Aaron claimed that the uncle and nephew were just alike, but from what we’ve seen, Miles doesn’t seem that similar to his uncle.
Maybe Miles and Aaron are alike in that they’d both rather put their costumed personas ahead of their education. In the last issue, and in the beginning of this issue, Miles seemed really dedicated to studying. But when his school cancels classes and the students are sent home, Miles gets really excited to put the books away and focus on being Spider-Man. That seems to be a step in a completely opposite direction for Miles. This was not a good message to be sending out to kids.
There’s one thing Miles doesn’t need to study though, and that’s how to look like Spider-Man. Marquez gives Miles some good aerial acrobatics as he swings around the city and I like the scene of Miles scaling the side of the building. Having Miles hitch his webbing to the helicopter showed some more clever Spidey-like intuition on Miles’ part. Despite looking the part, Miles still shows off his rookie status by showing up unannounced on Cap’s doorstep in the middle of a war.
Nothing was accomplished in this issue other than to offer Miles an easy way out of his educational responsibilities. Ganke also gets a chance to do something besides annoy Miles when tasked with recreating the web-fluid.